So, You Want to Have Some Fun?

By Tina Hager

Books to Share

  • A-Tisket A-Tasket by Ella Fitzgerald.
  • Fun and Games in Colonial America by Mark Thomas.
  • Good Night Pillow Fight by Sally Cook.
  • Mary Smith by Andrea U’ren.
  • The Pillow War by Matt Novak.
  • Wiggle Waggle by Jonathan London.

Books to Show or Booktalk

  • The Birthday Doll by Jane Cutler.
  • Boom Chicka Rock by John Archambault.
  • Camp Granada: Sing-along Camp Songs by Frane Lessac.
  • King of the Playground by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
  • Monk Camps Out by Emily Arnold McCully.
  • Outside the Lines: Poetry at Play by Brad Burg.

Bulletin Board

What’s Your Game?

Cut out enough rectangles from white paper to outline the bulletin board area. Add large black dots or use a black marker to create circles to make dominoes. Place the paper dominoes on the bulletin board, matching the numbers end to end. Add the title “What’s your game?” to the bulletin board. See if anyone notices that your game is dominoes. If someone notices the matched ends, give them a small prize or an inexpensive set of dominoes. Oriental Trading Co.,, sells very inexpensive sets. Encourage people to write down the names of games that they like to play and post them on the board for others to see. This will also help to decide what games to get for the library if you want to start a circulating game collection or host a family game night.



Use the pattern to make domino nametags.


Games Past and Present

Display games from the past and present. Some examples of games from the past that are still played include jacks, dominoes, and card games, along with books about games and how to play them. If desired, let library users guess which game is the oldest or when each game was developed. Check out the History Channel’s History of Toys and Games web site or Online Guide to Traditional Games at for historical information.

Marbles, Marbles Everywhere

Display a variety of marbles along with the book, Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson and other books on marbles. Encourage others to bring their marbles to add to the display.


Make your own edible tic-tac-toe game out of Twizzlers™, graham crackers, and M&M’s™. Lay a full graham cracker, leaving all four pieces intact, on a plate or napkin. Place the Twizzlers™ on the graham cracker to create a tic-tac-toe board. Sort the M&M’s™ into colors so that each player has a unique color. Play tic-tac-toe. Serve fresh Twizzlers™, M&M’s™, and graham crackers as snacks after the game.

Rhymes and Poetry

“Picture Puzzle Piece” in A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.

Use the book The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud and Miska Petersham to test the children’s and parents’ knowledge of various childhood rhymes. Recite the first line of a rhyme and see who knows the second line.



(Traditional. Spell out BINGO as you sing the verse for the first time. Drop a letter and clap in its place with each succeeding verse.)

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O,

B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,

And Bingo was his name.

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O,

Clap-I-N-G-O, clap-I-N-G-O, clap-I-N-G-O,

And Bingo was his name.

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O,

Clap-clap-N-G-O, clap-clap-N-G-O, clap-clap-N-G-O,

And Bingo was his name.

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O,

Clap-clap-clap-G-O, clap-clap-clap-G-O, clap-clap-clap-G-O,

And Bingo was his name.

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O,

Clap-clap-clap-clap-O, clap-clap-clap-clap-O, clap-clap-clap-clap-O,

And Bingo was his name.

There was a farmer who had a dog, and Bingo was his name-O

Clap-clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap-clap,

And Bingo was his name.

Audio Recordings

  • “A-tisket A-tasket” on Newborn by Sara Hickman.
  • “The Bear Went Over The Mountain” on Favorite Songs For Kids by Various Artists.

Riddles and Jokes

Q. What did one chimp say to the other chimp?

A. Stop monkeying around.

Knock Knock

Who’s there?


Canoe who?

Canoe come out and play with me?

Q. What type of game do sharks like to play?

A. Swallow the leader.

Reader’s Theatre Scripts

Read “Two Voices in a Tent at Night” from the book Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George.




  • Green construction paper
  • Squares of aluminum foil
  • Toothpicks or brown pipe cleaners
  • Glue
  • Pebbles
  • Small sticks


In advance, cut squares of aluminum foil. Depending on the size of the tent, the squares should be 6” x 6” or 8” x 8”. Give each child a sheet of green construction paper, a square of aluminum foil, and four toothpicks. The children will fold the aluminum foil in half to create a “tent.” Then they bend the sides up just a little to make flaps. Glue the flaps onto the green construction paper that serves as the “ground.” Place the toothpicks in front of the “tent” crossed to look like a campfire and glue them in place. Add pebbles and small sticks on the “ground” to complete their “campsite.”

Toss and Catch


  • Pencils
  • Pipe cleaners cut in half
  • Thin ribbon or yarn, cut into 22-inch strips


Pre-cut the pipe cleaners and ribbon or yarn. Give each child a pencil, a pipe cleaner, and a piece of yarn or ribbon, and let them complete the following steps. Attach one end of the yarn or ribbon to the eraser end of the pencil. Bend the pipe cleaner into a circle and twist the ends close. Tie the pipe cleaner circle to the other end of the yarn or ribbon. Toss the pipe cleaner circle into the air and try to catch it on the pencil.

Games and Activities

Noisy Animal Parade

After reading Wiggle Waggle by Jonathon London, or as a stand-alone activity, distribute animal puppets or pictures of various animals. Let the children parade around in the library or outside, walking and making noises like the animal puppets or pictures.

Human Concentration

In advance, select pictures of items that will be familiar to the children. Copy two sets of the pictures. Mount them on poster board or construction paper. Have an even number of children sit in rows with an even number of children in each row. One extra child will be the seeker. If necessary, use a staff member or volunteer to sit in one of the rows. Distribute the pictures, making sure that identical pictures are not given to children sitting too close to one another. Select one child to be the “seeker” who will match the pictures. The seeker plays by touching two children on the head. The children show their pictures and see if they match. As the seeker matches the pairs, the children holding the matched pair stand up. When all of the pairs have been matched and all the children are standing, the round is over. Select another child to be the seeker and repeat.

Guest Speakers

Invite a representative from a toy store or game shop to talk about the best or most popular games. Alternatively, invite a senior citizen from the community to talk about games that were played when he or she was young.


  • The History of Toys and Games. (100 minutes)
  • The Little Rascals. (83 minutes)

Web Sites

Fun Attic Game and Activity Guide
Fun game ideas for the whole family.

Kids’ Place Games
Games for youth in grades K-8.

Old Sturbridge Village: Games, Quizzes, and Activities
Learn about Colonial American children’s games.


I Spy.

Professional Resources

  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein.
  • Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson.
  • The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles by Maud and Miska Petersham.
  • Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O’Connell George.
  • Wiggle Waggle by Jonathon London.
  • History of Toys and Games

    The History Channel provides a timeline, historical information, and trivia about favorite toys and games.
  • Online Guide to Traditional Games

    History, links to additional information, and current information about traditional games is provided.


Texas Reading Club 2006 Programming Manual / Reading: The Sport of Champions!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011